Everything I needed to know in life, I learned in Preschool!

One of the great things about blogging is that it gives you a chance to
reflect and process. The reason I have my students blog is to interact with concepts they just learned, or to go more indepth with something we were discussing. I blog before, during, and after conferences as a way of processing those things that I just learned. AND I'm going to blog right now!

No, I'm not at a conference. I haven't discovered some great educational
technology tool, application, or learning "nugget." My mother-in-law just passed away this afternoon....
So how am I going to process that??????

I think back to all the horrible "in-law" stories that TV or even my friends
have shared with me, and I have to say that has not been my experience! I've come to love my Father and Mother-in-law like they have been with me all my life. Next to my own parents (whom I love and respect beyond measure!), Dave and Gaye are
the only other people whose respect is important to me. Especially, my
mother-in-laws :-)

The first time I really spent any time with Gaye was when I flew up to
Michigan to spend a couple of days with Jen over spring break in college. You know the first place my Gaye took me? The teacher's store. Here I was a Freshman education major, and my mother-in-law herded me into the mini-van to go with her to the teacher store...My wife not included on this drive :-) That was the time I knew that I was really going to like her!

Gaye was a wonderful teacher. Besides having her bachelors in Elementary education, she had a masters in Early Childhood, and had started preschools from scratch at two different Lutheran churches. Her passion for the "youngest among us" exuded
from every fiber of her being. The kids in her classes couldn't help but see
Jesus in her actions and her words. She was a model for early childhood Christian education. Not only was she a master teacher, she even worked as a consultant for the Missouri District Education Office helping other churches start preschools. To quote one of my students, "She had MAD early childhood teaching skills!" Or something like that...loosely paraphrased. :-)

Most importantly, and probably the reason it has been so easy to say, "I'll see you soon" is because I have no doubt that she trusted Jesus and trusted his love for her. This past year and a half was filled with ups and downs. Leukemia diagnosis, chemo, chemo, and more chemo,a bone-marrow transplant, remission (yeah), return of
Leukemia, Chemo, another transplant, remission, return of Leukemia, pneumonia......and that is what would eventually help take her to glory. I will never say that the pneumonia caused her to die, that was just the catalyst that God used to finally bring her home. After the decision was made to not put in a breathing tube, and to not restart chemo again, we knew she was ready to go home. I have no doubt that today at just after 4:oo pm, Gaye got to hear,"Well done, thou good and faithful servant!"

And that is what Gaye wanted to teach children, and what I want to teach children, and what every Lutheran, Christian educator wants to teach children. Jesus loves you so very much, that he didn't want to see you die eternally because of your sin, so he took the punishment that we deserved, so our relationship with God could
be restored, so we could be forgiven, and so we may have a place of eternal rest, forever. Gaye only knew in part and trusted in part...but now she knows fully, and I know she is rejoicing with the companies of heaven at this very moment. It will be great to know that when I take part in the communion liturgy this Sunday in worship
that she will be there with us singing..."Therefore with angels and archangels and with ALL THE COMPANY OF HEAVEN, we laud and magnify your glorious name
evermore praising you and saying:"

The thing that I appreciated most about Gaye was how she helped keep me grounded. I'm by nature an early adopter, and she is not :-)
I tried feverishly to convert her to the "dark-side" of educational technology and she constantly kept asking me the, "but what if?" and "Why" questions. I think if I could have pitched her Google Earth, she may have eventually bought in :-) But besides the technology tools, school 2.0, blogging, podcasting, video gaming, iPoding, and "whatevering," there was always Jesus! If I never teach kids effective searching skills or how to collaborate on line using a wiki that would perfectly OK...as long I could help build in them a trusting relationship with Jesus Christ!

Gaye always reminded me about how important it is to know Jesus and what he has done for me...and you! If you have read this blog entry and have no idea who Jesus is, what he has done for you, and how much he loves you...please email me. The one thing needful in this world isn't a new tool...its Jesus. That's the best thing I can do to help share in the Gaye's life mission...which is my mission...Which was Jesus' mission.

I'll see you soon, MOM!!! Say hi to Moses for me :-)
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